Madrid Press: Football takes back seat as Spain mourns Luis Aragones

Madrid Press: Football takes back seat as Spain mourns Luis Aragones

Real Madrid press report 02-02-2014

There is only one thing dominating the back pages in Spain today – the death of former national team manager Luis Aragones.

The 75-year-old, who enjoyed a career of more than 50 years in the game as a player and manager, is most famously remembered for ending Spain’s barren run at international level and guiding them to success at Euro 2008. That tournament win kicked off an historic period for Spanish football, which has seen them go on to be the first nation to win three successive international tournaments.

The won the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, followed by success again at the European Championship in 2012. Current manager, Vicente del Bosque, who has managed Real Madrid in the past, lead the tributes to Aragones, who passed away at a medical centre in Madrid.

Del Bosque said Aragones was the father figure of La Roja, and he was responsible for building the foundations to the success that followed.

Tributes also come flooding in from Real Madrid players and staff. Various players, including Sergio Ramos, posted messages on Twitter. Meanwhile, captain Iker Casillas spoke about Aragones in the press conference ahead of today’s game at Athletic Bilbao.

He said: “On behalf of the first team and the coaching staff I want to express our sincere condolences to the family of Luis Aragonés, may he rest in peace. I want to give our condolences to his family and to Spanish football, to all the teams, and especially to Atlético de Madrid.”

Asked about the impact he had on Spanish football, Casillas responded: “He was the one that changed the history of Spanish football, we all have to thank him for it. De Bosque himself was always thankful for the legacy he left. Luis made some decisions at the time and some commitments for the good of Spanish football. We have to thank him for what he gave us in 2008 because that changed everything we’ve won from there.”

Club president Florentino Perez released a statement offering his condolences to the family and friends of Luis Aragones, and to Atletico de Madrid, where he spent a large part of his career.

It read: “The loss of Luis Aragonés saddens all of us who love football. Today is a day of mourning for this sport, but it should also be day of recognition for a legendary figure who was vital towards giving us a glorious period with our Spanish national team.

Luis Aragonés always demonstrated his grand personality and overwhelming passion for football. He ennobled this sport and all Spanish fans owe him gratitude and respect.His personal and professional career was always characterized by honesty and hard work.

I would like to open my arms and extend my condolences to his friends and entire family, and particularly to Atlético de Madrid, his lifelong club.”